Highland: Sterling Natural Resource Center Hosts Event
Growing support for the facility reflects ongoing outreach to educate the community about its many benefits and the technology behind the project
HIGHLAND, Calif. – Residents living near the site of the Sterling Natural Resource Center (SNRC) had the chance to ask questions about the specifics of the project, and to learn about its many benefits at a neighborhood open house hosted by the project team.
More than 140 people attended the event, held at the future site of the center on North Del Rosa Drive between East Fifth and East Sixth streets in Highland. Information stations were set up to collect feedback from nearby residents and to address the various benefits of the Sterling Natural Resource Center as they relate to water treatment and quality, water storage, community benefits and the environment.
“Public involvement is an essential component of maximizing this project’s success,” said the San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District Board President Mark Bulot. “Valley District and the Sterling Natural Resource Center project team look forward to working hand-in-hand with residents to create a facility that is something we can all be proud of.”
Residents were supportive of the benefits to local water supplies, given that the SNRC will treat up to 10 million gallons of water per day and allow it to seep naturally underground for storage in the Bunker Hill Basin. It will also bring overall enhancements to their neighborhood, including educational programs for local students, gardens and jobs.
A community center with demonstration gardens, walking paths, water features and a picnic pavilion will provide meeting space for public and private events. Hands-on educational opportunities and job training for students and community members will also be incorporated into the project.
The SNRC will help protect local resources surrounding the project by creating new habitat for the Santa Ana Sucker, establishing areas upstream where the fish can thrive without the ongoing threats of their current location.
“The Sterling Natural Resource Center is about creating a new water supply,” said Doug Headrick, General Manager of Valley District, the lead agency involved in the project. “We want to take this opportunity to not only create a new source of water that we need in this region, but to lay the groundwork for new jobs within the community, create a beautiful gathering space for residents and protect local endangered species.”
Valley District is working in cooperation with East Valley Water District on the project.
“We have an opportunity to invest in our future with the Sterling Natural Resource Center,” said Ron Coats, East Valley Water District Board Chairman. “This is a rare opportunity to develop a project that ensures reliable services while enhancing the quality of life for our community.”
Thursday’s event was the latest in a series of efforts set up to include residents throughout this project. Previous outreach has been done in small group settings and on a door-to-door basis.
About San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District
San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District (Valley District) was formed in 1954 to import supplemental water. As a regional water provider they bring water into its service area through participation in the State Water Project (SWP) and manage groundwater storage within its boundaries. Valley District covers 353 square miles in southwestern San Bernardino County and serves a population of approximately 770,000. The District boundary spans the eastern two-thirds of the San Bernardino Valley, and the cities of San Bernardino, Colton, Loma Linda, Redlands, Rialto, Bloomington, Highland, Mentone, Grand Terrace, and Yucaipa.
About East Valley Water District
East Valley Water District was formed in 1954 and provides water and wastewater collection services to more than 100,000 residents within the City of Highland and portions of both the City and County of San Bernardino. EVWD operates under the direction of a five-member elected Board. More information is available at www.eastvalley.org.